Garage door torsion spring relocation project (Status = Not going well)

My garage door torsion spring relocation is NOT going well.
First, I tried to relocate the spring anchor plate 18" to the left where I 'thought' there was wood - but that turned out to be a solid steel beam!
Then, I moved it 12" to the right, where I 'thought' there was a cripple stud - but - it was just a flimsy piece of wood:
Here is a picture of the relocation:

Here is a closeup of that relocation:

Then, I started work on the right end bearing plate.
Amazingly, there isn't any wood ANYWHERE near it.
What I need is a thick (3 or 4 inch wide) steel plate in the shape of a big "T" - but I could find nothing like it at Home Depot.
QUESTION: Q: Where can I find sheet metal in the shape of a big "T"?
Note: I need a "T" roughly about a foot long by a foot tall by about 2 inches wide.
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On 11/26/2012 10:04 PM, Danny D. wrote:

...
As has been said I don't know how many times---open up the damn cavity, see what is there and add blocking or other solid structure where you need it and be done w/ it.
--
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Exactly. Why he is reluctant to do so, we do not know. Adding all the angle iron is giving room for more flexing IMO.
He just needs three cripple studs and bolt into the wood. Each side and at the center.
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On 11/27/2012 11:41 AM, Oren wrote:

...
Because he doesn't know what he's doing and is impervious to advice apparently. :(
Pretty typical novice diy'er or homeowner symptom ime--for some reason there's an unreasonable fear of opening a wall.
To OP...there's nothing to fear; just open it up so you can get where you need to be and do what needs to be done. Putting up some sheetrock or other wall surface later is trivial. If you do it cleanly, you can probably even salvage the existing but it's cheap; I'd just take it out and go on.
--
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On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:45:31 -0600, dpb wrote:

Exactly!
Exactly!
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On 11/27/2012 2:19 PM, Danny D. wrote:

If you're not going to go at it and fix it, then just hire somebody who will.
There ain't nothing to hurt; you've made more mess to clean up already than a few joints will be, and it's just a garage unfinished wall, anyway.
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On Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:22:57 -0600, dpb wrote:

Dan Musick at DDM Garage doors, who was the first to tell me that my side bearing plates were moving - is the one who suggested shoring it up with the angle irons he sent me.
He knows doors, doesn't he?
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On 11/27/2012 8:29 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Hell if I know; don't know the man.
Angle would be fine as a cross member to mount to but you've still got to find something to mount them to and get access to whatever it is that is solid to be able to do so.
Neither of which you can do w/o being able to see what you got where.
Certainly just attaching them to the sheetrock or some other flimsy blocking internally won't make any difference for more than a short time at best, anyway.
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On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 07:47:24 -0600, dpb wrote:

FINAL UPDATE (as a good net citizen).
I noticed you guys were unhappy so I simply stopped asking questions and just finished the job by immobilizing the bearing end plates and relocating & then securing the spring anchor plate.
I had to take down the tracks to get enough room to work and leveled them and bolted them back together when I was done.
It turns out the other garage door has the exact same construction as there is absolutely no wood above the doorway that is substantial.
There is no doubt of this now. It's clearly a steel-supported structure - where the wood is only bolted to the steel for the overhead storage area and nowhere else.
Only if you're interested, here are the final results.
1. Final view (ugly, Rube Goldberged, but relatively functional):
2. Closeup of the right bearing end plate support:
3. Closeup of the spring anchor plate new bearing from Dan:
4. Closeup of the spring anchor plate from below:
5. Closeup of the left bearing end plate support (for two doors):
6. A view of the newly relocated and reinstalled spring:
7. Looking up at the right bearing end plate new support:
8. Then spring anchor plate still bends - not much can be done:

No need to respond. I just want to close the loop as a courtesy to all that helped, and, also in case someone with similar problems wishes to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks for your help. I'm not sure why anonymity gets folks so angry - but - I've been on the net for decades, and have learned looooong ago not to sling mud. I thank you all for your advice - and I hope you realize I was responsive (until people got nasty) - and that I answered all your queries for more information - and I followed all the advice EXCEPT the ripping out of the walls.
In the end, it's clear as night and day the garage is NOT a wood-framed structure - and that the original garage door installers had the same problem that I did and they simply left the top foot of EVERY door unbolted.
I've rectified that. It's not pretty. It's not even fully functional - but it is MUCH BETTER than it was before!
For that, I thank you all!
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On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 07:47:24 -0600, dpb wrote:

FINAL UPDATE (as a good net citizen).
I noticed you guys were unhappy so I simply stopped asking questions and just finished the job by immobilizing the bearing end plates and relocating & then securing the spring anchor plate.
I had to take down the tracks to get enough room to work and leveled them and bolted them back together when I was done.
It turns out the other garage door has the exact same construction as there is absolutely no wood above the doorway that is substantial.
There is no doubt of this now. It's clearly a steel-supported structure - where the wood is only bolted to the steel for the overhead storage area and nowhere else.
Only if you're interested, here are the final results.
1. Final view (ugly, Rube Goldberged, but relatively functional):
2. Closeup of the right bearing end plate support:
3. Closeup of the spring anchor plate new bearing from Dan:
4. Closeup of the spring anchor plate from below:
5. Closeup of the left bearing end plate support (for two doors):
6. A view of the newly relocated and reinstalled spring:
7. Looking up at the right bearing end plate new support:
8. Then spring anchor plate still bends - not much can be done:

No need to respond. I just want to close the loop as a courtesy to all that helped, and, also in case someone with similar problems wishes to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks for your help. I'm not sure why anonymity gets folks so angry - but - I've been on the net for decades, and have learned looooong ago not to sling mud. I thank you all for your advice - and I hope you realize I was responsive (until people got nasty) - and that I answered all your queries for more information - and I followed all the advice EXCEPT the ripping out of the walls.
In the end, it's clear as night and day the garage is NOT a wood-framed structure - and that the original garage door installers had the same problem that I did and they simply left the top foot of EVERY door unbolted.
I've rectified that. It's not pretty. It's not even fully functional - but it is MUCH BETTER than it was before!
For that, I thank you all!
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Ooops. Sorry for the repost. The post didn't go through so I hit the resend, but, apparently it 'did' go through. Please ignore the repost.
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On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 07:47:24 -0600, dpb wrote:

FINAL UPDATE (as a good net citizen).
I noticed you guys were unhappy so I simply stopped asking questions and just finished the job by immobilizing the bearing end plates and relocating & then securing the spring anchor plate.
I had to take down the tracks to get enough room to work and leveled them and bolted them back together when I was done.
It turns out the other garage door has the exact same construction as there is absolutely no wood above the doorway that is substantial.
There is no doubt of this now. It's clearly a steel-supported structure - where the wood is only bolted to the steel for the overhead storage area and nowhere else.
Only if you're interested, here are the final results.
1. Final view (ugly, Rube Goldberged, but relatively functional):
2. Closeup of the right bearing end plate support:
3. Closeup of the spring anchor plate new bearing from Dan:
4. Closeup of the spring anchor plate from below:
5. Closeup of the left bearing end plate support (for two doors):
6. A view of the newly relocated and reinstalled spring:
7. Looking up at the right bearing end plate new support:
8. Then spring anchor plate still bends - not much can be done:

No need to respond. I just want to close the loop as a courtesy to all that helped, and, also in case someone with similar problems wishes to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks for your help. I'm not sure why anonymity gets folks so angry - but - I've been on the net for decades, and have learned looooong ago not to sling mud. I thank you all for your advice - and I hope you realize I was responsive (until people got nasty) - and that I answered all your queries for more information - and I followed all the advice EXCEPT the ripping out of the walls.
In the end, it's clear as night and day the garage is NOT a wood-framed structure - and that the original garage door installers had the same problem that I did and they simply left the top foot of EVERY door unbolted.
I've rectified that. It's not pretty. It's not even fully functional - but it is MUCH BETTER than it was before!
For that, I thank you all!
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I read through and saw many pictures. I was not able to give a good answer other than making sure the center bearing and end plates do not move. They do need to be fastened to solid blocking with good anchoring lags. I always drill a size of the shank and let the threads eat into the wood. I did a test and found that a lag just screwed into wood could pull out easier than if it was pre-drilled with a shank size bit that allowed thread bite. In some cases I have spanned over "un-blocked" areas with flat sheet metal to "catch " solid blocking. Then I attach the bracket to the sheet metal. Also the long shaft of garage doors is somewhat flexible. It will move up and down regardless of the tightness of the anchoring plates. Undoing and redoing those springs is tough. Counting the right turns and going in the correct direction for winding is critical too. On some doors you have a left and right wind. Also lubrication of wheels and bearings makes a garage door last longer and run smoother. john
"Danny D." wrote in message
On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 07:47:24 -0600, dpb wrote:

FINAL UPDATE (as a good net citizen).
I noticed you guys were unhappy so I simply stopped asking questions and just finished the job by immobilizing the bearing end plates and relocating & then securing the spring anchor plate.
I had to take down the tracks to get enough room to work and leveled them and bolted them back together when I was done.
It turns out the other garage door has the exact same construction as there is absolutely no wood above the doorway that is substantial.
There is no doubt of this now. It's clearly a steel-supported structure - where the wood is only bolted to the steel for the overhead storage area and nowhere else.
Only if you're interested, here are the final results.
1. Final view (ugly, Rube Goldberged, but relatively functional):
2. Closeup of the right bearing end plate support:
3. Closeup of the spring anchor plate new bearing from Dan:
4. Closeup of the spring anchor plate from below:
5. Closeup of the left bearing end plate support (for two doors):
6. A view of the newly relocated and reinstalled spring:
7. Looking up at the right bearing end plate new support:
8. Then spring anchor plate still bends - not much can be done:

No need to respond. I just want to close the loop as a courtesy to all that helped, and, also in case someone with similar problems wishes to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Thanks for your help. I'm not sure why anonymity gets folks so angry - but - I've been on the net for decades, and have learned looooong ago not to sling mud. I thank you all for your advice - and I hope you realize I was responsive (until people got nasty) - and that I answered all your queries for more information - and I followed all the advice EXCEPT the ripping out of the walls.
In the end, it's clear as night and day the garage is NOT a wood-framed structure - and that the original garage door installers had the same problem that I did and they simply left the top foot of EVERY door unbolted.
I've rectified that. It's not pretty. It's not even fully functional - but it is MUCH BETTER than it was before!
For that, I thank you all!
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On 12/1/2012 12:11 PM, jloomis wrote:

This little fact has been proven by others as well... Always best to pre-drill the proper sized hole!
--
I'm never going to grow up.

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On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:10:35 -0800, Oren wrote:

Probably! :)
I had two basic choices: - Rip it up, or, - Cover it up.
I opted for the simplest solution - which I realize belatedly, many here fault me for.
At least, when Dan Musick looked at the pictures, he admitted it was a difficult situation and that my solution (which followed his advice) will last longer than I will.
What more can we hope for than that! :)
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On Fri, 07 Dec 2012 17:23:31 -0800, DD_BobK wrote:

OK. Agreed. The (thin) sheet metal was only on the right side:

The sheet metal angle was strong thick stuff that Dan Musick had sent me. That angle iron was used to secure the left side cable drums.
Here, for example, is me asking you guys earlier how best to use it:

Here is the resulting use along with three Simpson "L" plates:
You'll notice there is absolutely no substantial wood anywhere in that picture except(of course) the overhead storage shelf itself.
The first sheet metal angle was lag bolted horizontally to that overhead storage shelf. Everything else was tied to that.
It's hard to see, but on the right side of the picture, the second sheet metal angle is vertically bolted to the horizontal sheet metal angle.
The three Simpson L plates were added to shore up both the vertical sheet metal angle (which had nothing underneath it that was substantial) and to tie in the second (much larger) garage door (which you see to the left in that picture above).
It's ugly. But it's what Dan Musick suggested. And, it's working. (Of course, the old door setup was working also - but this is working better.)
I'm sorry if you don't like the solution. I'm not perfectly happy with it myself; but it's what I came up with given what I had to work with, and, it's better than it was before - and - perhaps most importantly - it should last my lifetime (which is as much as I can ask for it to last).
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